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05 February 2021

Member update – 5 February

 

This week

 

Time to renew your GOC registration  

The GOC registration renewal process for 2021-22 is now active. Please note that all registrants must complete the process by 15 March 2021 to avoid receiving a statutory notice of the GOC’s intention to remove you from the register. 

Given current work and non-work pressures, please remind all colleagues to complete their renewal by the due date and earlier if possible. Each year there are cases where people have not updated their contact details or forget to complete the process on time. This year, it is in everyone’s interest not to generate the additional unnecessary work and costs involved in addressing this.

 

Scotland – new GOS PCA published

The Scottish Government has published a new PCA this week: PCA(O)2021(2). It provides updates on PPE supplies, funding arrangements, mandatory training and compliance which all members need to be aware of.

PPE

Members in Scotland should have received information on how to log into PECOS to order PPE. The details were sent to practice-specific nhs.scot email addresses. If you are having difficulty accessing your email account, you should contact your local Health Board. Optometry Scotland has also issued a detailed guidance note on ongoing PPE supplies. Learn more.

Funding arrangements

The PCA confirms that PPE will continue to be funded under current arrangements until 30 June 2021.

It also clarifies the arrangements for financial support for practices that are planning to close permanently. Practices “will be eligible to receive relevant financial support” provided they “remain open up to and including the date upon which GOS ceases to be provided”. The arrangements apply to practice premises, mobile practices and peripatetic service provision.

Mandatory training

This year’s GOS mandatory training model, Developing Personal Leadership in Optometric Practice, carries one CET point. Optometrists and OMPs providing GOS in Scotland must complete the training on Turas by 31 October 2021.

Compliance

The PCA also sets out details on the recourse available to NHS Boards where there is an allegation of a breach of the Terms of Service of NHS GOS regulations.

FODO Scotland members are advised to read the PCA in full.

 

OFNC update – Impact of current lockdown on practices in England

The OFNC has issued an update on its discussions with NHS England about the impact of the current lockdown on primary eye care. Read the OFNC statement.

 

England – GOS claims update from PCSE

PCSE has announced that 65% of ophthalmic contractors are now submitting GOS claims online.

If you are not yet using e-GOS, you should use new scannable GOS forms, which can be ordered from the PCSE portal. Due to the initial surge in demand for these new forms, it can take three to four weeks for orders to be filled. During this period, old paper forms should be used until your new forms arrive. If you don’t have any old or scannable paper forms, please contact the team at [email protected].

Please note that it is important to follow PCSE detailed instructions when submitting paper forms, otherwise they may not be processed.

We encourage all members to complete the transition to e-GOS as soon as you can.  If you have not done so already, or have questions about the new system, you can sign up to a PCSE webinar here or find support on the PCSE YouTube channel.

FODO members who are having challenges with the new system can contact us directly at [email protected].


Wales – businesses urged to register for financial support 

The Welsh Government (WG) urges eligible businesses to ensure they are registered for financial support to help them deal with the pandemic’s ongoing impacts.

The financial support is for businesses forced to close or “operate differently as a result of coronavirus restrictions”.

WG is encouraging businesses that have not registered with their local authorities since the firebreak in October to visit the Business Wales website to see whether they are eligible.


FMO becomes the
Optical Suppliers Association

The FMO has rebranded as the Optical Suppliers Association (OSA).

OSA Chair Stuart Burn said the organisation remained committed to its longstanding goal of working collaboratively with the sector and speaking with one voice. He added: “The reason for the name change is to better convey exactly who we are and what we stand for, our revised Mission Statement reinforces our message, and our financial restructure gives us the platform to re-energise the association and provide the financial muscle to deliver lasting tangible support to optical suppliers and their staff”.

Andy Hepworth, OSA Vice Chair, said: “Echoing Stuart’s comments, it was clear we needed to reset what the OSA will deliver to the membership. There is clear strength in unity within the Optical bodies.”

 

Have your say: AMD services – commissioning guidance consultation

The RCOphth has launched a consultation to seek views on its new draft Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Services: Commissioning Guidance. The College notes the guidance has been developing “principles and minimum standards of care for AMD to decrease variations of care across AMD services in England and Wales”. The consultation closes on 18 March. Read more and take part.

 

Other news

EssilorLuxottica and CooperCompanies, subject to regulatory approval, will launch a new joint venture (JV) to tackle myopia management. Read more.

The International Council of Ophthalmology has endorsed the WHO diabetic retinopathy screening guide. The guide aims to help European policymakers, public health leaders and senior clinicians improve existing systems. Learn more.

Scientists report that drugs commonly used to treat HIV might have some benefits in preventing sight loss in macular degeneration. Read more.

RCOphth reports on an animated video produced by the Eye journal to accompany the January 2021 special issue on ‘Imaging’. 

The Optician reports the RNIB has partnered with Alana, a Heriot-Watt University programme, to develop support technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) for blind and partially sighted people.

 

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